35 Arbroath W

*PLEASE NOTE - This game has been postponed*

THE League One season is gathering pace as they come round the final bend and into the finishing straight.


The Blues have just more 12 games - barring a playoff place - between now and the season entering the history books.

It has been a rollercoaster, with the well-documented player departures in January giving way to promising youngsters breaking through.

Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell already has his first target in mind and that is to break the 40-point barrier.

The Blues sit five points adrift of that figure going into tomorrow's clash with Arbroath.

The manager said: "I'm just trying to get those points.

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"You look at where we are, everything that happened at Christmas and 40 points is going to probably get us League One football next season.

"We are on 35 points just now.

"Once we get to 40, then we will start looking at the league table.

"It is about trying to win as many points as possible to ensure that League One status.

"If we are in the playoffs or thereabouts, we will believe we can finish the season well.

"Securing League One status is the priority."

The Blues were far from their best last weekend as they went down 2-0 to East Fife.

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Scott Linton's penalty was quickly followed by a Mark Lamont goal which gave Darren Young's team all three points.

Farrell acknowledged his side were not firing on all cylinders that day and said: "I can only think of three games this season where we have had a team performance like that.

"There was the Brora Rangers game, the first game against Arbroath and then Saturday.

"You look at the team and say who actually performed well?

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"It was just one of those performances and, although it was disappointing, you know me - I never got too carried away, even with the run we were on.

"I also never ever, ever get too despondent.

"Football is about balancing and believing in your squad."

Now, attention turns to welcoming an Arbroath side which has only lost twice in the league since Guy Fawkes Night.

The Blues will likely be forced into at least one change with 19 year old full back Chris McGowan struggling through illness.

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However, Farrell was keeping tight-lipped ahead of the 3pm kick-off about any other potential team news.

He said: "We have made our decision on who will play but Dick Campbell (Arbroath manager) might be reading the website on the road down or tonight.

"We have worked on our shape all week and the players know who is playing and we are looking forward to it."

Finally, the manager also expressed his delight at Angus Beith being awarded the SPFL League One Player of the Month award.

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The 22 year old is one of five players on loan at Stranraer and scored the last time the Blues came up against Arbroath on 2 December.

Farrell said: "Angus thoroughly deserved the award.

"He has been a breath of fresh air, his attitude has been fantastic and he is a great professional for someone so young."


Last meeting
Arbroath 1-2 Stranraer
2 December 2017

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KYLE Turner and debutant Angus Beith scored in the second half as Stranraer came from behind to pick up three points.

The youthful midfielders were joined by captain Steven Bell at the heart of the Stranraer team.

However, it would be the hosts who took the lead on 15 minutes. Ryan McCord scored a hat-trick in the first meeting of the season and he was on hand to break the deadlock at Gayfield. Cameron Belford failed to hold Bobby Linn's effort and McCord reacted quickest to cheekily back heel the loose ball over the line.

The leveller would come in the second half when Jamie Hamill's pinpoint cross was headed home by Turner. It was a goal which sparked Stranraer into life and they turned up the pressure in a bid to get a winning goal. Hamill rippled the side netting with a deflected drive and then saw a header crash off the crossbar.

Finally, the goal came with Beith blasting home from the edge of the box.

Arbroath: Hutton, Little, Yule, O'Brien, Henry, Whatley, Gold, McCord (Denholm 46), Linn, McIntosh (Prunty 75), Swankie (Hester 69).
Not used: Hamilton and Gomes.

Stranraer: Belford, Dick, Barron, Neill, Hamill, Bell, Anderson (Woods 81), Turner, Beith, Thomson, Wallace (Stoney 89).
Not used: Lang, McGowan, Elliott, Okoh and Currie.

Last five meetings

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- 1-2 (McCord; Turner and Beith) at Gayfield on December 2, 2017
- 2-6 (Thomson and Agnew; O'Brien, Denholm x2 and McCord x3 (Pen x1)) at Stair Park on September 23, 2017
- 4-2 (McManus, Cook x2 and Sheerin; Winter and Forde) at Gayfield on April 12, 2014
- 1-1 (Gallagher; McManus) at Stair Park on February 14, 2014
- 1-2 (Doris; Longworth and Aitken) at Gayfield on December 7, 2013

Stranraer's last five games

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WIN v Albion Rovers (A): 1-3 (Beith x2 and Robertson)
WIN v Raith Rovers (H): 1-0 (Beith)
WIN v Airdrieonians (H): 3-2 (Okoh x2 and Beith)
DRAW v Queen's Park (A): 2-2 (Beith and Turner)
LOSS v Ayr United (H): 1-5 (Turner)

Arbroath's last five games


WIN v Albion Rovers (H): 1-0 (Kader)
DRAW v Airdrieonians (A): 0-0
LOSS v Ayr United (A): 4-1 (McCord)
WIN v Queen's Park (H): 2-1 (Swankie and Gold)
WIN v Ayr United (A): 1-2 (Wallace and McIntosh)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v East Fife: Currie, Robertson, Neill, McGowan, Hamill, Agnew (Hawkshaw 63), Turner, Beith, Woods (Anderson 63), Okoh, Dykes (Lyon 63).
Not used: MacPherson, Barron, Thomson and McLaren.

Arbroath lineup v Albion Rovers: Hutton, Little, Hamilton, O'Brien, Martin, Whatley, Gold, McKenna, Wallace (McIntosh 67), Swankie (Yule 29), Kader (Linn 73).
Not used: Denholm, Hester, Skelly and Gomes.

Referee

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JUST four of the Stranraer starting XI remain from the last time Alan Newlands refereed a game at Stair Park, as Scott Robertson, David Barron, Kyle Turner and Ryan Thomson all featured in a 3-1 victory over Stenhousemuir.

Steven Bell - now with Ayr United - opened the scoring but Ally Roy levelled things for the visitors. Thomson made it 2-1 and Joe Nuttall - now with Blackburn Rovers - scored his final goal for the club eight minutes from time.

The referee is no stranger to Arbroath either and his last involvement in one of their games came during the Angus derby with Forfar in November. David Cox would open the scoring on that occasion but the hosts would bounce back to take all three points. Leighton McIntosh levelled before the break and Bobby Linn was the man to seal the win with a stoppage time strike.

You have to go back to Christmas Eve 2016 for the last game involving Arbroath away from home and Mr Newlands. Again it was Dick Campbell's men who were the victors. This time Josh Skelly and Steven Doris scored past former Stranraer man David McGurn in a 2-0 win over a Cowdenbeath side which also featured ex-Blue Gerry McLauchlan.

Programme

34 Arbroath ad

In this week's Beyond the Bandstand, featuring Angus Beith on the cover:

- Chris McGowan talks Nicki Minaj, Vanilla Ice and maths
- Rob Mason looks at a surprising connection
- Max Currie discusses being back at Stair Park

All that and more, available at the turnstiles for just £2.

Admission

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Entry prices are as follows:

Adults £15, Concessions (65+) £10, Secondary £5, Primary FREE.

Information for away fans

Coverage

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Follow the action and share your reactions on Twitter at @StranraerFC.

And finally...

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You can support the new-look Blues by sponsoring loan stars Dylan Dykes, Dean Hawkshaw, Ross Lyon and Cameron MacPherson - all now available right here on the club website.

Sponsor a player

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish.

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 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Clyde 0 0
2 Edinburgh City
0 0
3 Motherwell 0 0
4 QOS 0 0
5 Stranraer 0 0

Fixtures


2018/19

IN:
Grant Anderson, Kyle Turner, Jamie Hamill, Chris McGowan, Andrew McDonald (St Mirren), Max Currie, Lyle Avci (Ayr United), Cameron Elliott, Sam Lidington, Mark Lamont (East Fife), David Brownlie (Airdrieonians), David Smith (Dumbarton), Connor McManus (East Fife), Luke Donnelly (Queen's Park).

OUT: Angus Beith (end of loan), Dylan Dykes (end of loan), Dean Hawkshaw (end of loan), Ross Lyon (end of loan), Cameron MacPherson (end of loan), David Barron, Stephen Okoh, Scott Robertson (Airdrieonians), Ryan Thomson, Morgyn Neill (Stenhousemuir), Scott Agnew (East Fife), Gavin Scott (scholarship, USA).

View squad